Thursday, January 06, 2005

Last year's models.

Over at [ sigh ], Jason Gross of Perfect Sound Forever has done a yeoman's job of compiling an alternet-ive version of the annual Da Capo Best Music Writing anthology, culling together more than 100 articles for commendation. There are links to most if not all stories, and the whole thing is pretty overwhelming. Go to.

Using Da Capo's book as a point of comparison doesn't really do justice to the selection, particularly in light of Gross' call-out to Jeff Chang's piece that excoriates the series for its unchecked rockist assumptions and overwhelmingly starchy, Y-chromosome-osity. Trouble here, of course, is that Gross and Co. might need to check the back windows; a rough count yielded 17 women authors behind the 124 top music stories, which, given Gross' presumably wider net (or Net), is nothing to crow about. I'm not hating, I'm just saying. Certainly, the racial/cultural spread appears a lot richer that what you'd typically find in the Da Capo book.

Also, Jeff Chang rules, here, there, and everywhere.

Oh, and don't go to unless you have an extremely good pop-up blocker.


Blogger Chilly Jay Chill said...

It's just TOO MUCH! Too many stories, too many opinions, too many articles! On the one hand, I'm impressed that Gross culled through all that material to arrive at those best/worst/etc. lists. It seems exhaustive, if not downright exhausting.

On the other hand, how unrewarding was it to spend his time reading THAT MUCH crap about music?! How long did he devote to that endevear and couldn't his energy have been better utilized? I mean, look, it's a sunny day outside. There are lots of good books at the library. Has he called his mother lately? Hung out with his friends? Changed his clothes?

Maybe as editor of PSF, it's something of an occupational hazard for him. (Is being editor of PSF an occupation?) Let's hope he gets a lot of enjoyment from it because the random sampling of articles I checked out from his list didn't seem all that soul-stirring. Some fine ideas here-and-there, but mostly I can think of better ways to while away the day. Maybe I just picked some of the more ho-hum pieces. You have anything to recommend from that monster list?

10:48 AM  
Blogger Prof. Drew LeDrew said...

To be honest, I only peeped a couple of stories. That Jeff Chang thing on the Da Capo book is worth checking out; he really brings it.

Speaking of bringing it, Greg Tate's last para of his hip hop article read like a blow to the head. Damn. ["But check out the new Nas!"]

11:13 AM  
Blogger Chilly Jay Chill said...

The Chang piece is a scorcher. He rightly calls out the bullshit, tho I'm not sure the issue deserves the length he devotes to it. The Tate piece is still on my mind -- not that the ideas in it are so new, but its force is a welcome tonic. Talking anti-capitalism these days is practically like breaking a taboo. Maybe the one of the few taboos left. The timing of Tate's Nas article is unfortunate, but it's also good. Interesting idea that NYC rap has lost its urgency since the crack epidemic evaporated. More to say about that later, too. BTW, you ever read the interview with the Death Metal filmmakers? Good stuff.

12:13 PM  

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